GDP, inflation up, unemployment down

Govt unhappy with economic trend says Giorgetti

(ANSA) - Rome, August 31 - GDP and inflation have risen in Italy while unemployment has dropped, statistics agency ISTAT said Friday, prompting Cabinet Secretary Giancarlo Giorgetti to say the government was unhappy with the way the economy is going.
    ISTAT on Friday upped its annual growth forecast for the Italian economy to 1.2% in the second quarter.
    This was higher than the 1.1% forecast on July 31.
    Italy's gross domestic product grew 0.2% in the second quarter of the year, ISTAT said Friday.
    The statistics agency published the definitive data for the April-June period.
    In the first quarter GDP had risen 0.3%.
    Italy's GDP is 5.8% lower than it was at the start of the financial crisis in 2008, ISTAT said Friday.
    The comparison is with the first quarter of 2008, when a record high was recorded.
    But despite a quarterly slowdown, ISTAT said, the Italian economy's expansion has continued for 16 straight quarters.
    Italian inflation rose to 1.7% in August from 1.5% in July, ISTAT said Friday.
    On a monthly basis prices rose 0.5%, the statistics agency said.
    The rise was mostly due to transport prices, up from 1.7% to 2.9%, ISTAT said.
    Prices of the most frequently bought items in Italy's inflation 'trolley' rose by 2.8% in August, the same as July, ISTAT said Friday.
    Italian unemployment fell 0.4 percentage points to 10.4% in July, ISTAT said Friday.
    It thus returned to the level it was in March 2012, the statistics agency said.
    Youth unemployment fell 1.0 points to 30.8%, its lowest since October 2011.
    Italian employment fell by 28,000 units or 0.1% in July over June, ISTAT said Friday.
    In June there had been a 41,000 unit fall, the statistics agency said.
    The fall is wholly in the women's sector, ISTAT said, and concentrated among people aged 15-49.
    Long-term steady job holders were down 44,000 while temps and self-employed workers were both up 8,000.
    The number of inactive people in Italy rose 0.7% or by 89,000 in the month between June and July, ISTAT said Friday.
    The rise regarded both women, up 73,000, and men, up 16,000, the statistics agency said.
    The inactivity rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 34.3%, ISTAT said.
    But inactivity fell over the year to "just above the all-time low recorded in June," it said.
    The government is "absolutely" not happy with how the economy is going, Cabinet Secretary Giorgetti said Friday.
    "We have the ambition, some would say the temerity, to bring Italy to a rate of growth above 2-3%"," he said.
    The government may breach the EU's 3% budget deficit-to-GDP ratio if it is "necessary to put the country into safety", referring to essential infrastructure work, Giorgetti said.


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